Meet Stanford Online High School
Stanford Online High School
A place for the passionately curious – Stanford Online High School opens its doors (or in other words online classrooms) to talented students from around the world. Since its establishment in 2006 by Raymond Ravaglia, the school has employed the power of technology to support their advanced curriculum. And they’re one of the pioneers in carving out an environment for digital learning on the web.
Although the school is just over a decade old, it firmly holds its ground among traditional schools as well. It ranked 6’th in the company of ‘The 50 smartest private high schools in the US’ and also climbed to the 2’nd spot in ‘The 25 best private high schools for getting into a top college’ put together by Business Insider.
One of USA’s first Virtual High Schools
The school was set up within Stanford University as a three-year high school for talented students. Since then, they have grown into an online community of learners, offering grades 7 – 12. The School’s original name ‘Education Program for Gifted Youth’ was replaced with ‘Stanford Online High School’. The world-acclaimed institution with a century-old legacy – Stanford University – has invested its brand name and heritage into this young school. It stands today as one of the country’s first independent online high schools for academically talented students.
At Stanford OHS, the students are challenged with advanced curriculums and university-level programs. The demanding courses open up opportunities for students to explore a subject, leading to learning that has a life-long impact. The effectiveness of the rigorous curriculum and the well-rounded Student Support system of Stanford OHS contribute to making the school one of the very best.
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Features of their innovative classroom:
- Web-based Classrooms: Classes are hosted online through web-based platforms. An average of 12 students, along with the instructor, are brought together on the platform where class materials are available.
Real-time Virtual Seminars: A dedicated video-conferencing technology allows students from different corners of the world to tune in. Options to virtually raise their hands is available when they would like to speak, along with chat features. Students can also pool in their ideas and collaborate with the help of the virtual whiteboard that can be accessed by all.
- Facilitate the transition of students from passive to active learners:
The course is designed in a way that students are meticulously prepared before a live classroom seminar. With the use of recorded videos and assignments, students would have already dived into the subject matter. And this makes them significantly more active and engaged during the seminar.
- A global community: Geographic boundaries do not come in the way of Stanford OHS extending its mission all over the world. Students can be a part of the virtual classrooms from their bedroom or their garden, and they might even have classmates sitting in India or South Korea.
Preparing College-ready Learners
Children are not going to remain in schools forever. They will eventually graduate and head out into the real world. And what’s going to help them is the knowledge and skill that their school has nurtured in them.
With this notion incorporated in their vision, Stanford OHS designs its programs to give students a feel of college-style routines. Students follow college-style schedules that not only incorporate the rigorous curriculum but also make space for their own personal interests that go beyond the classroom.
Programs are developed to equip students with the right skills, allowing them to shine in their future colleges. In addition to this, the majority of the instructors hold PhDs in different areas and are experts in up-scaling the academic prowess of students.
Consequently, students do not learn for grades alone. They deeply understand the applicability of the concepts they are exposed to. Thus, the knowledge they pick up in school can be extended to their higher education, and impact their college, career, and life.
Student Support at Stanford OHS
The school’s vision to prepare college-ready students is backed by their Student Support system. Apart from Academic Advising and Counselling, the school has a dedicated College Counselling department as well. It supports full-time students in understanding their options after graduating from school.
The department works with students and families to chalk out a path to find the right college that will match the student’s interest, personality, and set goals.
The role of the College Counselling Office in preparing students:
- providing college and course options
- evaluating admission-related documents
- preparing documents like letters of recommendation
- conducting college counselling sessions for juniors
- carrying out one-on-one sessions with students and families
- mediating between students and colleges
- putting together a detailed report for each student, indicating his/her academic growth
- maintaining strong relationships with colleges and universities for better student engagement
Rome was not Built in a Day; Neither are Legacies
“The true test of a great academic high school is what happens to its alumni.” – Stanford OHS Website
Given its roots in Stanford University, Stanford OHS is no stranger to the fact that legacies are not built in a day or even a year. Barely a decade old, this School recognizes that building a strong Alumni Network requires early adoption.
Stanford OHS actively engages with its Alumni through its Alumni Association and appoints Class Agents for each cohort who are committed to keeping their classmates connected.
Stanford OHS clearly shatters the myth that Alumni Networks should not be a priority for newly established Schools.
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